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Voters check in at the polling place in Bradley Elementary School’s gymnasium during the March 3 Democratic presidential primary.

UPDATE: Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that he was moving the date of municipal elections to May 19; the elections were originally scheduled for May 5. The order from the governor affects the elections in three Fauquier County towns: Warrenton, Remington and The Plains.

The move comes after the Virginia State Senate declined to take up a bill that would have moved the election to November. Under Virginia law, the governor has the authority to move the date of some elections - including municipal elections - by as much as 14 days during a declared state of emergency.

Voters must have been registered to vote by April 13 in order to be eligible to participate in the May 19 elections. The deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you  is now Tuesday, May 12 at 5 p.m. Absentee ballots can be requested online or by mail, phone or fax.

More information about casting an absentee ballot can be found on the VDE website: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting.

A list of polling places in Fauquier County towns can be found at: https://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments-h-z/registrar/town-polling-places.

ORIGINAL STORY: Barring unilateral action from Gov. Ralph Northam, municipal elections in Warrenton, Remington and The Plains will take place on Tuesday, May 5 as originally scheduled. On Wednesday, the Virginia State Senate rejected a proposal from the governor to move statewide town elections to November.

Under Virginia law, the governor has the authority to move the date of some elections - including municipal elections - by as much as 14 days during a declared state of emergency. Fauquier Registrar Alex Ables said that, as of midday on April 23, local registrars "are getting word that it appears the governor is pondering his authority" related to this provision.

Under current guidelines polling places will be open on the day of the election from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the Virginia Department of Elections announced last month that voters are “strongly encouraged” to vote absentee in the May municipal elections due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This office HIGHLY encourage voters living within the corporate boundaries of the Towns of Remington, The Plains and Warrenton to apply to receive and absentee ballot by mail before the 5 p.m., April 28 deadline to do so,” Ables said in an email.

According to VDE’s website, voters may choose the reason “2A My disability or illness” on their application for an absentee ballot – anyone who is otherwise eligible to vote in a municipal election may apply for an absentee ballot using this option.

Voters must have been registered to vote by April 13 in order to be eligible to participate in the May 5 elections. The deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is Wednesday, April 28 at 5 p.m. Absentee ballots can be requested online or by mail, phone or fax.

Voters also have the option to complete an absentee ballot at the registrar's office in Warrenton up until Saturday, May 2. "In-person absentee voting will continue daily in the Registrar’s Office up through May 2 at 5 p.m. which is the last day to vote in-person absentee for the May election," said Ables.

More information about casting an absentee ballot can be found on the VDE website: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting.

A list of polling places in Fauquier County towns can be found at: https://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments-h-z/registrar/town-polling-places.

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